Today was a special day at the state Capitol for many of in the Albany press corps as we paid tribute to our late colleague and friend Jay Gallagher, the former longtime Gannett Albany Bureau chief who died last May after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer.
About 40 current and former members of the Legislative Correspondents Association gathered this afternoon in the LCA offices at the Capitol to unveil a plaque in Jay’s honor. His wife and two daughters attended the ceremony.
“In loving memory of a dedicated journalist, friend and mentor,” the plaque reads.
Here’s some background on Jay that we included in his obit in May.
Mr. Gallagher, the son and nephew of newspapermen, was born April 30, 1947, in Beverly, Mass.. and raised in Danvers, Mass. He graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, in 1969, then began his newspaper career with the News Tribune in Waltham, Mass., where he covered city government from 1969 to1971. He worked also for the Journal-Bulletin in Providence, R.I., before coming to the Times-Union in 1974.
Over his years in Rochester, he covered city hall, did investigations and special projects.
He joined Gannett’s Albany bureau in 1984 and became bureau chief in 1989.
He received numerous awards for his coverage of state government, including the 1998 and 2004 New York Newspaper Publishers’ Association Award for excellence; the 1997 and 2004 Legislative Correspondents Association award for outstanding reporter; the 2002 beat reporting award from Capitol Beat, the national association of state Capitol reporters; and the 1993 New York Common Cause award for best commentary on New York state government.
Later, he wrote a book, The Politics of Decline, (Whitston, 2005) detailing state government’s major failures.